*The names have been changed to protect the identity of our patient and her family.
I was forwarded your email from Mary regarding your decision for fusion surgery. I understand these are very difficult decisions and you want what is best for your daughter.
I just wanted to add a few things for you and your family to think about...
Many girls feel "forced" into our program. They show up here on Monday morning, only wanting to turn around and walk back out. The typical feelings they have are this...why do I have to have this deformity???...why can't it just go away???...why can't I just take a pill for it???...what's going to happen to me if I do nothing / surgery???...what if I can't handle this treatment program???...why are my parents doing this to me??? What if I put in all this hard work and it still doesn't get better??? Well, she's not alone. These are the feelings and questions just about every single girl that walks through our doors has. Once the girls are here, they have some important decisions to make for themselves. That's why our program is designed to be in group settings. The girls form friendships and bonds with each other because of their similarities of having scoliosis. They end up strengthening each other during the 2 weeks here. We encourage each group to continue staying in touch with each other. This is a great time for the girls to begin seeing the successes of other girls... "if she can do it...I can do it". This motivates them and spurs them on to new heights of confidence and desire to achieve success in their scoliosis. The parents didn't have to do a thing. The motivation starts coming from within...and not from the parents. The support of peers can make a huge difference. The support of the doctors and staff can make a huge difference. The support of family is essential. The support groups combined have turned timid, shy, unmotivated girls into strong, motivated and hopeful women.
There is NO way out of the work. Once you have scoliosis, you're going to have to work harder than the person who doesn't
It's very important for Kate to understand that no matter what she chooses...she's going to have to work VERY hard. Having surgery requires hospital time, physical therapy, and enormous amounts of pain killers and meds. 10-15 years post surgery she will still have to be doing physical therapy and exercises to keep her back healthy. 30-40 years post surgery, she will still have to be doing exercises for her back. If she does "nothing" right now (no surgery, no conservative therapy), she'll still be required to stay in shape and exercise to stay out of pain and create stability in her scoliosis in the future. If she chooses us, the same thing. There is NO way out of the work. Once you have scoliosis, you're going to have to work harder than the person who doesn't, in regards to your spinal health and core strength. There is, unfortunately, no way around the work. Searching and attempting a non-surgical intervention first, is the philosophy of almost every doctor, parent and patient out there. Again, this is a very difficult decision, I just wanted to emphasize that there is no way around the work...and, there is still the possibility of your daughter learning and being helped by her own peers with scoliosis.
Dr. Michael Janzen